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In Return Of The Jedi when Luke surrendered to Vader on Endor, why did Vader keep the handcuffs on Luke all the way until they went to meet the Emperor, given that Luke had voluntarily surrendered on his own?

Has this ever been explained? The Emperor himself told Vader that Luke would come to them of his own free will, and secondly, since Luke was Vader’s son, would that seem like an insult to handcuff your own son?

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    “would that seem like an insult to handcuff your own son?” — It’s probably not super-polite to cut off your son’s hand, or make him decide between joining the Dark Side or dying. Unless they had different etiquette in those days. – Paul D. Waite Apr 20 '15 at 11:11
  • If you was a police officer and a criminal "voluntarily surrendered", would you take of the cuffs to let them walk? – SaturnsEye Apr 20 '15 at 11:24
  • He voluntarily surrendered, but Luke also refused Vader's offer. He has no idea what Luke's intentions are with the Emperor. – phantom42 Apr 20 '15 at 12:30
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    Presumably Luke could have removed the cuffs at any time with the Force. I imagine its similar to Superman cuffed in Man of Steel: it was to show he wasn't a danger and had no intention of running or causing trouble. – Michael Itzoe Apr 20 '15 at 14:31
  • Darth - Paul and Saturnseye are right. Vader doesn't care about insulting anyone (chopping off Luke's hand was a bigger "insult" than leaving the cuffs on) and cops do cuff suspects who surrender. More to the point, why bother removing the cuffs when Luke could probably remove them himself with the Force whenever he wants? If Luke is willing to play along and pretend the cuffs are actually doing something, why should Vader waste time and energy removing them? – Wad Cheber Apr 21 '15 at 23:59
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Presumably because an unrestrained Jedi is dangerous.

  • Perceived to be dangerous or actually dangerous? With the power of the force, presumably the binders could be removed in seconds. – Valorum Apr 21 '15 at 5:41
  • @Richard Seconds is how long it would take Vader to chop him down. The whole surrender thing could be a trick, after all. You don't get to Sith level by being naive. – DavidS Apr 21 '15 at 8:56
  • @Richard - Both. I never said a restrained Jedi wasn't dangerous. But the officer Luke surrendered to didn't know any better, and Vader probably realized the cuffs were irrelevant. Why bother removing them when Luke could do so himself but chose not to? – Wad Cheber Apr 21 '15 at 23:19
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The problem is not that Luke would come of his own will, but more that he was a dangerous person. A Jedi even which made him even more dangerous.

As a Jedi Luke could do quite some damage with mere hand movements and that even fast enough for Vader reacting too late if not prepared for that. With handcuffs Jedi were and are quite hampered there. Most often being restricted to mind tricks and not able to throw the Emperor out of the window of the throne room (as an example there....not that it would have worked any way, but he could have tried).

Furthermore armed imperials could have been alarmed if they knew how Luke looked. Even if in the presence of Vader some of them could have reacted and tried to shoot the rebel at sight....which would have wasted a few possibly good imperials (not that the Emperor would have minded if they weren't useful, but still a waste).

So all in all the handcuffs put the nonsith at ease and at the same time reduced the danger that Luke posed (in case he was not there just for his father and was there to do some damage instead).

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